Reading Food Labels (the “Coles Notes” version)

For the Eight Mystery of the World, we add ….. FOOD LABELS!!!

Food labels are difficult to decipher, even the nutritionists and dieticians comment about the variances between them and how tough they can be to decipher. What does it all mean?

Here’s a few quick comments, but I’ve also included some links to articles written by the professionals for you read as well.

SERVING SIZE The first thing you need to pay attention to is serving size. Some items have very small serving sizes – for example “three crackers”. If the serving size is small, and depending on what is broken down on the label, you may want to by-pass the product all together as you’ll may have a tough time sticking to the serving size and end up with too much fat or salt etc.

SALT FREE/SODIUM FREE – be cautious of foods that are labeled as sodium free, often they make up the flavour (or preservative properties) of the sodium by using POTASSIUM instead. For many heart patients, a little potassium might not be so bad. In fact, some of you may have had your dietician recommend you eat more bananas for the potassium. But if you have kidney issues along with your heart issues, you will need to be very cautious of added potassium in these items.

Continue reading “Reading Food Labels (the “Coles Notes” version)”

What’s for dinner?

Prior to J’s heart attack he did all the grocery shopping but after being released from the hospital he had to take it easy. All the walking that’s required to shop is a lot for someone recovering so I had to take over. Previously he was quite the foodie and loved to eat well but now we had to completely overhaul what and how he ate. We now had to keep in mind his diabetes (low sugar)  PLUS a heart smart diet (low-fat, low salt).

Reducing sugar and fat are not too difficult since so many packaged foods focus on these but almost all packaged/processed food is too high in salt. J had been advised to have less that 2300 mg of sodium (approx. 1 teaspoon). We now had to read all product labels and it was shocking to see the amount of salt in canned and packaged foods. Even foods that say “no salt added” still contain amounts often too high for the serving size (more on this coming soon).

Here’s our initial grocery listing:  Continue reading “What’s for dinner?”